Mark Pedowitz Departs The CW; Not a Good Sign for Stargirl, Babylon 5

UPDATE: Nexstar Media Group has formally closed its deal to acquire 75% of The CW. Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and Paramount Global will each retain 12.5% ownership stakes in the network.

While all signs had been pointing for some time that The CW, the home of shows like Supernatural, Riverdale, the "Arrowverse," and many, many more, was heading for extinction for some time now, it was in August when the first shoe dropped. Via an SEC filing and press release, Nexstar Media Group confirmed its pending deal with Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) and Paramount Global (PG) for a 75% stake in the 16-year-old broadcast network. Along with continuing to produce programming content for the network, the WBD and PG will each retain a 12.5% ownership interest. With the deal expected to be finalized during the third quarter, Mark Pedowitz was set to continue as chairman and CEO of The CW. Now, that was a glimmer of hope in what's otherwise been a stream of depressing news. Well, that glimmer of hope was extinguished this morning with the news that Pedowitz has stepped down as Chairman and CEO of the network after 11-1/2 years in charge. As Pedowitz looks to revive his Pine Street Entertainment banner, Nexstar has named Dennis Miller as named President.

the cw
Image: The CW

The news is especially concerning for fans of shows like DC's Stargirl, The Winchesters, the upcoming Babylon 5 project, and others. Pedowitz has a history of championing & promoting original programs (especially in terms of genre programming), so his leaving at a time when some of those projects are awaiting decisions on their futures is not a good thing. Especially, as Deadline Hollywood reports, with Nexstar reportedly looking to have The CW (or whatever name it may have when the dust settles) "resemble outlets like myNetworkTV or Pax" as additional departures and layoffs are expected. "He was the right person in the right job at the right time," said producer Greg Berlanti (Arrowverse and so much more) of Pedowitz. "He found so many ways to make that network viable and to keep shows that other people would have canceled after six episodes on the air for six years sometimes, gave them time to find and build an audience."

But while Pedowitz's time at The CW may be over, Berlanti appreciates the legacy that Pedowitz left behind. "I think his track record speaks for itself. Everybody predicted the death of that network from the time we started; when we were working on 'Arrow,' everybody was saying it was going to be gone in a few years. And look at all the things that survived. There's a whole generation of young people who have been shaped by the stories that he supported telling and the storytellers he supported," Berlanti shared. "Whoever comes in next, they could learn a lot from his methodologies and the kind of leader that he's been there."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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